The Kibokube program enables a number of educational and research institutions in developing countries to benefit from Japanese expertise in deploying small cubic satellites from the International Space Station.
On August 27 and 28, the capital city of Tunis hosted the eighth session of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 8), the conference that dealt with all areas of Japanese-African cooperation.
In conjunction with the conference, parallel activities have been organized that started since the 19th of this month and will continue until the second of next month, and have a scientific event entitled “Africa-Japan cooperation in the field of space in general, building of cubic satellites” included. in particular, and ways to develop it and explore wider horizons.”
Various topics were discussed among the participants at the event, which was held on the 25th and 26th of this month at the Science City, and was organized by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in collaboration with a number of academic and industrial institutions, and with the participation of representatives of African countries and regional and international organizations, the most prominent of which were: Cube satellite the first step for countries to take the road to space?
Cube satellites..Free and available configuration
Parallel scientific activities concerned with African-Japanese cooperation in the field of space witnessed Arab participation, which was limited only to Tunisia and Egypt among the African-Arab countries.
Among the activities witnessed by the Tunisian Science City was one entitled “KiboCube Academy”, jointly organized by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Japanese Space Agency, and a free and open course in the field of cubic satellite technology presented by experts from Japan More than 300 participants benefited.
On the 26th of this month, a scientific conference discussing the role of space technology in sustainable development was held, organized by the Laboratory for Innovation in Space Services, which includes university institutions and Japanese companies in the field, in collaboration with the Tunisian Aerospace Association and the private high school for engineering and applied technology “ESPITA” (ESPITA). ) in the city of Sousse.
The meeting was an opportunity to highlight the importance of space technology and digital geography in promoting sustainable development.
In this context, Dr. Rehab Al-Masadi, Head of the Electromechanical Department at Espita, spoke about the importance of such meetings in strengthening scientific cooperation between countries, the exchange of experiences and discussion.
Arab experiences in the scales
Dr. Rehab Al-Masadi spoke about the “Tunisat-1” project, which is a Tunisian satellite of the “cubesat” type, which last February won the “Kipokup” international space competition in its sixth session organized by the United Nations and the Japanese Space Agency. Al-Masadi – for Al Jazeera Net – that this project has reached great progress and that it is in its final stages, emphasizing the diligence to achieve the desired specifications for its launch in good conditions, as scheduled in the year 2023.
Dr. Rehab indicated that “TunisSat-1” is a cubic satellite, measuring 10 centimeters by 10 centimeters and weighing one kilogram.
Mohamed Farikha, director general of the Telnet complex, which specializes in the software and electronic systems industry, told Al Jazeera Net that the Tunisian satellite “Challenge 1” for the Internet of Things in March 2021 in cooperation with the Russian space -agency “Ros” was launched. Cosmos”; Officially registered in the United Nations Satellite and Space Registry, Tunisia has officially entered the field of space technology and explained that this first step will be followed by bigger steps through “Challenge 2”, which is concerned with the discovery of the Earth, and “Challenge 3”, which is concerned with the fifth generation Internet .
And in an effort for us to dwell on the Egyptian pioneering experience in the field of space and cooperation with the Japanese side, especially since Egypt agreed with Japan to use the “CubeSat” type satellite for Egyptian universities, designed by a number of students under the supervision of the Egyptian Space Agency, we could not get a permit. From Dr Mohamed Yahya, representative of the Egyptian Space Agency, who apologized for any speech to Al Jazeera Net.
Cube satellites serve a variety of purposes
On the 26th of this month, the Science City also saw the African-Japanese Conference on Cooperation in Cube Satellite Technology, a conference inaugurated by the Vice President of the Japanese Space Agency, Yasuo Ishii, who referred to Al Jazeera Net in a statement to the “KiboCube” program and what it offers to a number of institutions Education and research in developing countries can benefit from Japanese expertise in deploying small cubic satellites from the International Space Station.
Yasuo Ishii explained that “Kibo means hope, and the hope exists that space will become available to all,” and expressed his admiration for the enthusiasm he found among Tunisian engineers and researchers in the field of space technology, emphasizing that the Japanese party continues its efforts to support and frame the working group on the launch of the CubeSats Tunsat-1.
Regarding the conference, which he personally opened, the vice president of the Japan Space Agency confirmed that he had reviewed the progress of the CubeSat development programs, launched and exploited them in a number of African countries , considering that they promise experiments capable of further development.
Tunisia and yearns to create its own space agency
For his part, the Tunisian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Moncef Boukather, expressed Tunisia’s desire and ambition to create its own space agency, in a workshop dedicated to the axis “Space Activities in Africa: Challenges and Prospects”, and note that the project is being studied by Tunisian engineers specializing in this field.
In this context, Ashraf El Samawi, the official spokesperson of the Tunisian Space Association – indicates to Al Jazeera Net – that the “TICAD 8” symposium represents an opportunity for Tunisia to demonstrate its skills in communication with African countries that have completed their projects , improve, or are completing projects related to space agencies, emphasizing that Tunisia Today is called upon to further intensify work to attract as many scientists and space engineers as possible, to establish itself in this important field whose roles are many and varied in the service of development, science and humanity.
In a speech at the same workshop, the Tunisian Minister of Communication Technology Nizar Bennaji emphasized that space technology helps to prepare accurate and modern databases, and also allows appropriate decisions to be made in development issues, especially in relation to natural resources, environmental protection and management , and food security control, especially in light of the challenges facing the African continent, represented by climate change, water scarcity, energy shortages and the food crisis, which affect citizens, companies and Africa in general.